Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (45)

(47) next ›››

simple commodity fell jn the way were eagerly caught
up by female visitors as relics of unfortunate and depart¬
ed worth ; but the grasping and grovelling appetites of
the despicable depredator had left little for objects of
curiosity or veneration. Many pots of jelly which Millie
used to have in careful and excellent preservation, had
been consumed after his death ; and in this, as much as
any thing else, Henderson discovered the grossness of his
manners, for he had not taken the trouble to untie the co¬
vering, which, being paper, he appears to have thrust his
hand through in order to come at the sweetened morsel.
The anxiety felt for his conviction was strongly exempli¬
fied by the jealousies that were constantly agitated that
he.might possibly escape; at one time it was thought
that, one part of the evidence might be deficient; then
another: and at other times pretences of insanity, it was
feared, might screen him from condign punishment; but
in all these surmises, we only recognise an over eager¬
ness that just judgment might be unincumbered.
It is not perhaps proper to say much on the behaviour
of Henderson while in the jail, in the interval between his
apprehension and his trial. He was at that time merely
kept in security in order that he might be in readiness to
answer the charge brought against him ; and that a jury
might pronounce upon his guilt or his innocence. If, in
the preceding pages, we have said any thing that may
in regard to a person in his situation, seem to intimate
too decided an opinion of his guilt, we beg it to be un¬
derstood that it is spoken merely as the echo of popular
opinion ; which, from the beginning, had little hesitation
in pronouncing him guilty. He had lived on the spot
where the body was lying for wet ks, and had profited by
the death of the owner; yet, with all opportunities for
detecting the crime (if another perpetrated it), he never
spoke of such a thing; while others, with no better means
of discovery than himself,, and who had only suspicions
to guide them, of which he was equally aware with them,
discovered it after being present only halfan hour. These
circumstances guided public opinion, and rendered it un¬
controllable ; and if we have spoken with its voice, before
we give the verdict of the jury, we hope to be excused,